Chelsea Aim To Secure £18m Ace By Wednesday Evening

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Referee Howard Webb of England gives a warning to Brazil's Ramires during the 2010 World Cup second round soccer match at Ellis Park stadium in Johannesburg June 28, 2010.   REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: SPORT SOCCER WORLD CUP)

Benfica president Luis Filipe Vieira has admitted the Portuguese champions are already planning for life without midfielder Ramires as Chelsea edged closer to a deal for the Brazil international.

Chelsea are in the final stages of a agreeing a fee of around £18million with Benfica as Carlo Ancelotti continues to put his team through their pre-season paces in Germany.

And the deal for Ramires should be signed and sealed by the time Chelsea return on Wednesday evening following their friendly against Hamburg.

Admitting Benfica were ready to do a deal with Chelsea for Ramires, Vieira said: ‘Our main aim is to keep building the team and do the right thing in sporting terms.

‘If there is a good proposal, we will do everything we can to make it work for us. We are prepared for everything and have options to fill all the positions to make sure we strengthen.’ (Daily Mail)

It seems a long time since Chelsea FC made a big money signing, but they actually spent the same amount of money as the mooted £18million on a player last year: Yuri Zhirkov. The Russian didn’t have much chance to impress last season in either of his favoured positions of left back or left midfield, due to both injury and Ashley Cole and Florent Malouda’s imperious form ahead of him. However, Ramires has a more obvious role in the side.

The departures of Michael Ballack, Juliano Belletti and Joe Cole have left a clear void in midfield. Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti believes Ramires is the man to fill it.

Ramires is a dynamic box-to-box midfielder, whose physicality and power will be ideally suited to the Barclays Premier League. At just 23, he is markedly younger than many of his future colleagues at Chelsea, and his endless stamina saw him affectionately nicknamed the Blue Kenyan while at Cruzeiro. Strong in the tackle and possessing a powerful shot, he ought to be a tremendous young signing for the Blues.

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